VISAKHAPATNAM: Despite the good success rate in cracking cases, the much-hyped Abhayam and iClik services have failed to reach their target group - women. The reasons: poor publicity and utter failure in promoting the facilities among the public.
After around two months of the launch of the services, the control room for Abhayam services received 1,802 calls out of which 1,772 are just test calls. Though test calls have been a good sign though, as the services are being known to people, actionable calls were just 32, of which women-related cases are less than 10. iClik received around 47 complaints out of which there are just single digit cases related to women’s issues. The others related to land acquisitions and bike missing cases and even mobile missing cases.
Over the last two months, many cases on women coming to light in the city like harassment, rape of minor girls etc., clearly shows lack of awareness about these services among the public and especially college going girls. Apart from a few campaigns in Andhra University, St. Joseph’s College and few other private organisations, no major awareness campaigns, as in the case of traffic awareness, have been organised to enlighten Vizagites about these services.
A police official said that due to lack of proper awareness, denizens were unable to understand the primary objective of Abhayam and iClik services and are using them just as one would dial 100.
“It’s even OK to receive calls related to thefts and ilegal land acquisitions, but the main theme of services is missing. Women related issues are very very less, even as public are seen calling police stations even after being educated about Abhayam,” said police sources.
There are some successful cases as in that of a schoolboy who reported about being harassed by his dad, which was made by just a click in his mobile and sent through the ‘eye report’ option in Abhayam app.
In other cases, a woman cheated by her husband got relieved from him, while a college girl used iClik to lodge a complaint after some morphed photos of her were uploaded on Facebook.
In this instance, public feel more and proper awareness could act as a strong tool for women.
“We don’t find a single poster of Abhayam or iClik on RTC buses, which are boarded by hordes of women and girls. We don’t find posters even in government offices or public places. Without proper awareness, what is the need to launch these services,” questions K Sarada Devi from New Colony.
Meanwhile, sources said that huge piles of pamphlets related to Abhayam and iClik are lying useless in the police control room and are yet to be distributed among the public.
When contacted, incharge for Abhayam and iClik services, inspector of police Bangaru Papa reiterated that they are conducting awareness programmes on the facilities in all colleges, universities and private events graudally and distributing pamphlets and posters to them. She also requested the public to make use of the services whenever in need.